> I have it in my head that Dionysius the Areopagite,
> Dionysius (Denys) the first bishop of "Paris," and
> Pseudo-Dionysius were all conflated into one person,
> much to the delight (and use) of the monks of
They were indeed, according to Erwin Panofsky's introduction to his
edition of Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis and its Art
Treasures, 2nd edn (Princeton, 1979), pp. 17ff. He says that a Greek
manuscript of the Pseudo-Dionysius was obtained by Louis the Pious in
the 9th century from the Byzantine Emperor Michael the Stammerer and
was immediately deposited at Saint-Denis (B.N., MS Grec. 437) and
translated by John the Scot at the invitation of Charles the Bald,
who was titular abbot of Saint-Denis at the time. Panofsky
makes much, however, of Suger's reading of the
Pseudo-Dionysius that has been quite thoroughly debunked by
more recent authors. Panofsky gives two works that may be helpful on
Raymond J. Loenertz, "La legende parisienne de S. Denys l'Areopagite,
sa genese et son premier temoin," Analecta Bollandiana, LXIX (1951),
Henri Moretus Plantin, "Les passions de saint Denys," in Melanges
offerts au R.P. Ferdinand Cavallera (Toulouse, 1948), 215 ff.
I also know that Abelard pointed (some
> of) this out to them, much to their annoyance.
Again, according to Panofsky, Abelard chanced upon a passage in Bede
according to which the titular saint of the Abbey was not the same
person as the famous Dionysius the Areopagite and held to have been
the first bishop of Athens, but was identical with the more recent
and far less famous Dionysius of Corinth.
> correct in assuming that all three were conflated into
> one person, i.e. the patron of the abbey of S-D? And
> who did the conflating and when was it written down?
> Many thanks in advance for any enlightenment.
All three may have been conflated at Saint-Denis, where they stood to
gain the most from it, but at Chartres Cathedral, which isn't that
far away, according to the 13th-century Ordinary, the feast of St
Denis the Areopagite was celebrated on 3 October with 3 lessons,
while the feast of SS Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius was celebrated
on 9 October with 9 lessons (Rusticus and Eleutherius being the
Parisian apostle's fellow martyrs), so the identification was not,
perhaps, as widespread as might be thought.